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Another record day for hospitalizations

Thursday, Jan 6, 2022

* Jake Griffin

State health officials today reported 7,098 COVID-19 patients were being treated in Illinois hospitals, 256 more than the previous day.

Of those hospitalized, 1,119 are in the ICU, a 10.8% increase from a week ago, according to Illinois Department of Public Health figures.

IDPH officials also reported 104 more COVID-19 deaths, along with 44,089 new cases of the respiratory disease.

It’s the first time more than 100 COVID-19 deaths have been recorded in a single day since Feb. 11, 2021. It’s also the highest number of new cases reported in a single day.

The 7-day rolling average case positivity rate is 14.7 percent. It’s 18.6 percent for the average test positivity rate.

Did you get your booster yet?

* Meanwhile

The number of children needing hospitalization for COVID-19 has roughly tripled over the last month at Advocate Children’s Hospital, doctors said Thursday, as Illinois continues to see record numbers of cases.

Since mid-December the children’s hospital, which has campuses in Park Ridge and Oak Lawn, has had about 25 to 38 kids in the hospital on a daily basis because of COVID-19 or COVID-19-related issues, said Dr. Frank Belmonte, the hospital’s chief medical officer, during a news conference. About one-fourth of those children are in the intensive unit, he said.

About 94% of the kids are unvaccinated, with many coming from homes where no one is vaccinated.

About half of the children hospitalized at Advocate for COVID-19 or COVID-19-related issues are younger than 5, he said. Children under the age of 5 are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.

* Speaking of kids

CPS reported record new daily case numbers on Tuesday — 422 students and 274 adults. That was part of the first data to emerge from the two days of school that took place after the two-week winter break and before the cancellations.

Those figures are double the number of cases CPS was reporting when students and staff members started their holiday vacation last month.

As of Wednesday evening, about 9,000 students and a record 2,300 staff members were in isolation because they tested positive for COVID-19 or quarantine because they had come in close contact with an infected person.

…Adding… Plainfield SD 202

Due to logistical transportation and staffing issues related to a rise in COVID related cases, we will be using an emergency day tomorrow (Friday, January 7th).

It will be a day of non-attendance for students and staff. There will not be remote learning tomorrow.

The day of attendance for January 7th will be made up on May 27, 2022, as part of our 5 emergency days budgeted into the 2021-22 school year.

* The Southern

Southern Illinois University Carbondale is delaying the start of most in-person classes for the spring semester, opting for a week of remote instruction.

The university announced the plan in an email to the campus community Thursday morning. The spring semester is scheduled to begin Monday, Jan. 10.

In the announcement Chancellor Austin A. Lane said the delay of on-campus instruction will allow students and faculty to undergo COVID-19 testing prior to beginning in-person classes.

* WCIA

The University of Illinois released updates for their spring coronavirus guidelines. They’re remaining virtual for the first week of class

* WCIA

University of Illinois officials said they are now requiring students, staff and faculty to get a COVID-19 booster shot when they are eligible.

* Rockford Register-Star

The Winnebago County Health Department announced 588 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, the highest number of cases reported in a single day since the start of the pandemic.

The rolling 7-day test positivity rate has climbed to 16.6%. To date, there have been over 645 deaths in Winnebago County attributed to COVID-19.

Additionally, this week, Rockford hospitals — Mercyhealth, OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center and UW Health SwedishAmerican Hospital — are providing in-patient care for over 200 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and persons suspected of being COVID-19 positive.

All local emergency departments are operating at peak capacity. As a result, the hospitals have voluntarily postponed some elective surgeries and procedures to preserve critical resources, including staff.

* Peoria Journal Star

Faced with a record number of COVID-19 cases, area hospitals are limiting and suspending elective surgeries.

On Wednesday morning, UnityPoint Health announced that it was indefinitely suspending all elective surgeries at its central Illinois hospitals. Later in the day, OSF HealthCare announced that it, too, was temporarily delaying elective procedures – but on a case-by-case basis.

While officials at UnityPoint Health had been managing elective procedures since early December and temporarily postponing them as needed, the total suspension came suddenly when the number of hospitalized patients rose significantly this week, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Samer Sader said.

“We reached our peak numbers in the last 48 hours,” he said. “Over the last two days, we’ve broken our record from the previous wave (in December 2020 through March 2021).”

Current intensive care unit capacity is nearly exhausted, and about 80% of those beds are filled with COVID patients, Sader said.

* Headlines from the NBC5 live blog

Bears Add Justin Fields to COVID-19 List

IDPH Follows CDC Recommendation, Urges Boosters for Kids Ages 12-15

* From a story in The Atlantic entitled “Should I Just Get Omicron Over With?”

The problem, though, is that none of this is assured, especially when factoring in the thorny variable of time. Viruses that linger too long in the body could exact a punishing cost—transmission, disease, death. But if they’re cleared out too fast, they might not have enough time to teach the body something new. And those dynamics depend partly on when someone got their last immunological boost. Someone who’s very recently received a vaccine, for instance, might still be flush with antibodies that could swiftly sweep out the virus. Ellebedy, who was exposed to his COVID-sickened wife about a month after boosting and had pretty minor symptoms, thinks that’s what happened to him, which is great from a disease-severity standpoint, and potentially a transmission one. But a truncated infection might also cut short the immune system’s review session on the virus itself. Bodies will sometimes try to calibrate their defense to match the opponent’s offense, and trifling infections aren’t always worth a massive reinvestment in protection. A later encounter with the virus might spur cells to react more dramatically and squirrel away another slew of safeguards—but at the risk of a longer, more dangerous, and more contagious infection.

A bevy of other factors, too, can influence the magnitude of protection that’s tickled out by a breakthrough: age and health status; vaccine brand, dosing, and timing; the genetic makeup of the variant. (Most people have no way of knowing for certain whether they caught Delta, Omicron, or another SARS-CoV-2 flavor.) And while each dose of a particular vaccine offers essentially identical amounts of immunity-titillating stuff, actual infections don’t serve up the same dose to every person they hit. “The amount of heterogeneity in people’s immune responses is just incredible,” Taia Wang, an immunologist at Stanford, told me. Some recently infected people might experience only a modest bump in protection—which might not be enough to meaningfully stave off another infection in the not-so-distant future.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

25 Comments
  1. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 1:42 pm:

    ==Did you get your booster yet?==

    Absolutely yes. Got mine very early October. Hopefully the second booster gets approved by April (the fourth shot).

    Meanwhile, more evidence pointing toward the need to switch to N95 masks if you still wear cloth ones.

    https://abc7chicago.com/covid-masks-face-coverings-n95/11425476/


  2. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 1:46 pm:

    Received my Pfizer booster back in November. No noticeable side effects. Maybe it caused me to be tired and take more afternoon naps, but I do that in the winter months already so I can’t say.

    To add to this, Plainfield D202 has cancelled all classes tomorrow. Too many people are out sick, and they do not have enough people to drive the busses to get the students to school. For todays classes the district announced yesterday that transportation would be delayed due to shortages, but classes were not cancelled. The district is around 20k students.

    Link below goes to district press release for verification of closure tomorrow;
    https://www.psd202.org/announcements/8668

    And as related or unrelated as it may be, I watched “Don’t look Up” last night.


  3. - PublicServant - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 1:46 pm:

    === CPS reported record new daily case numbers on Tuesday — 422 students and 274 adults. That was part of the first data to emerge from the two days of school that took place after the two-week winter break and before the cancellations. ===

    These totals on top of an abysmal testing plan whose implementation has been horrendous, and all this on top of Omicron at, or near its peak (hopefully), and maybe we ought to consider that CTU’s insistence on safety, while CPS’ talking around that issue might need to be reconsidered by people.


  4. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 1:48 pm:

    Boosted in November, back to pretty much essential trips to stores only. Real happy hospitables are being crammed with unvaccinated morons so waiting rooms have to be converted to use for other patients. The utter selfishness of so many in our society is literally breathtaking.


  5. - Pundent - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 1:53 pm:

    I got my booster in November as did my wife. She’s got Covid right now (mild) as does my 13 year old (asymptomatic). Somehow my test came back negative. But it could have come and gone by now or given the two day or so turnaround on results I might be positive now. Who knows?

    But I do know our shots are doing exactly what they’re supposed to.

    Those CPS numbers got my attention. I’d be interested Durkin and Vallas’ take on that. I won’t hold my breath.


  6. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 1:55 pm:

    ==Boosted in November, back to pretty much essential trips to stores only==

    Pretty much same for me, plus work. Fully vaxxed since early last April, and boosted early October. Have been back to doing church online nearly all of the time since August too. After briefly getting back in person for a month last summer before Delta hit.


  7. - SWIL_Voter - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 2:00 pm:

    Durkin’s right, send those kids back to school, /s


  8. - Pundent - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 2:10 pm:

    I’ll add that we did not get together with family over the holidays, limit our outside activities to what is necessary, and always wear masks (cloth). And we still got it.

    But for those that would say “see, it doesn’t matter” you’re wrong. We’re fine, the vaccines work, and other than staying home for a few days life goes on as normal.

    An abundance of caution is what prompted the test when minor cold symptoms appeared in one, and only one, of us. We could have easily chalked it up to nothing and gone about our daily activities. And many people are doing just that and the virus spreads.

    Vaccines, more often that not, turn this into an inconvenience. But as the numbers show above that’s not always the case if you don’t.


  9. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 2:17 pm:

    We have never been so lucky than we have been that the Omicron variant is not as deadly as delta or more deadly than delta.

    At this point our pandemic response is the Detroit Lions of pandemic responses.


  10. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 2:30 pm:

    The family is all vaccinated and boosted. We mask and try to minimize outside contacts. The kids are heading back to college, but learning will be virtual for the first week or two.

    I remain frustrated at the intransigence of the anti-vaxers as well as those who are “waiting” for something before they get or their kids get vaxxed. And now, we all suffer from full hospitals, closed schools, etc. -sigh-

    Instead of Durkin and Vallas complaining about CPS closing, maybe they should be urging people to get vaxxed. The CTU did the right thing; Durkin and Vallas should acknowledge that.


  11. - froganon - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 2:51 pm:

    We are all vaxed and boosted as are my mother, brother and sister in law. My Mom was hospitalized a few days after Christmas for a fall. She & my brother got Covid in the Emergency Room. She’s just left the Covid Floor in the hospital, he is very ill at home. It’s his second long bout with Covid. I’m isolating as much as possible and wearing an N95 mask everywhere. Omicron is not a small thing for some folks.


  12. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 2:56 pm:

    Did you repeat the last paragraph twice for emphassis? Is this because of your distaste for the exclamatory punctuation sign?

    Boosted as soon as I could. Very close to 6months from the date of my 2nd vaccine. Which was due to change of policy by Chicago (where I work), 4 weeks after my first. Chicago may have done me a world of favors with that change.

    Seems to me that the teachers have a point with that increase plus the fact that temporary morgue trailers have been ordered. That’s a grim sign.

    Also bummed about the “elective” surgeries being postponed. Most of these are not nosejobs, but serious procedures that people have been putting their life on hold until receiving. I know it’s needed, but no one has to like it.


  13. - thoughts matter - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 2:57 pm:

    Every week I hear about another family I know personally impacted by covid. Much more often than in 2020 or most of 2021. It’s a combination of this variant being so contagious, mitigation fatigue and the stubborn non vaccinated. What do I say to those families that fall in that last category?
    Meanwhile I have heard of numerous people who can’t get needed treatment for other conditions because the hospital is full.
    I don’t see the situation improving anytime soon because the only way out is to get the unvaccinated to vaccinate.


  14. - Club J - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 3:13 pm:

    Maybe I sound like a broken record, but I thought this was odd the last couple days watch the court cases. DeVore would question what was the “emergency” for everything the Governor, ISBE, or IDPH put out. Then Judge Grischow would turn around and ask the same question. It’s been two years why is there an “emergency” now. DeVore would answer the “emergency” is his lawsuits.

    I think anyone with common sense reading the title to this segment can clearly see this is an “emergency”. It has nothing to do with DeVores ego. It has to do with hospitals filling up, schools having to close, children getting sick, and the science saying we need to take action today not tomorrow. It’s those followers that is causing these numbers to increase the way hey are. It’s pathetic the way they act. The disrespect is sickening.


  15. - Peanut - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 3:17 pm:

    Got my booster right before approved for other adults. I do not understand the governor says follow the science yet has directed state agencies to deny all accommodation requests by the immunocompromised.-demanding they go in office though they have worked from home since March 2020 with excellent results. with so many exposed COVID paid leave is in order for some- especially those with positive kids.


  16. - zatoichi - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 3:21 pm:

    Got boostered shortly after it was available and will repeat if that is the guideline. Within our extended family, covid now accounts for one recent death and multiple serious illnesses, all to very vocal anti-vaxers. Two family members are teachers who are anti-vaxers and tested positive but believe essential oils will protect them. Daughter got breakthrough after boosting, but felt better in about 4 days. 5 year old granddaughter shifted between grandparents to allow mom time to rest. She had been vaxed and understood what was happening.


  17. - JoanP - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 3:22 pm:

    I got my booster as soon as it was available.


  18. - Suburban Mom - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 3:23 pm:

    I have a distant relative who died, and their family is hold a huuuuuuuge unmasked funeral gathering in northern Wisconsin tomorrow. Indoors. Nobody will mask.

    It may have caused a permanent family rift that we are declining to attend. We made excuses about the weather and the kids having school, but they know it’s because they’re holding a big Omicron super-spreader event to celebrate someone’s death by infecting a lot of other elderly and unvaccinated people. And they’re very angry that we’re “judging” them for it.


  19. - Since the beginning - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 3:25 pm:

    Was part of NBC team in the service.
    Since the beginning tried to maintain 12 feet and double masked with n95 and surgical mask when inside for small amount of time. Triple masked and face shield when had to be inside for extended periods. Vaxed and boosted.
    Suggest everyone follow same protocol.


  20. - thechampaignlife - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 3:38 pm:

    ===Also bummed about the “elective” surgeries being postponed. Most of these are not nosejobs, but serious procedures that people have been putting their life on hold until receiving. I know it’s needed, but no one has to like it.===

    Yep. I have a tumor (benign, thankfully) that I should have removed at some point, but now I must wait.


  21. - Hieronymus - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 4:08 pm:

    Fully vaxxed this last mid April and boosted (All Pfizer) mid November, just a few days past my 6 month mark.

    I was _very_ sore, much worse than the first 2 jabs, for about 36 hours, with soreness gone after 48 hours. Otherwise, not very tired/head-achy. I do wish that they’d let us choose the “big” muscle as an option.

    Mrs. H was also fully vaxxed, but had mild respiratory symptoms the day before her scheduled “boost” (All Moderna), so got tested that day, instead.

    Fortunately for us, both the rapid and PCR tests came back negative, and she got boosted yesterday morning. By yesterday evening and all today she was rather sore, too, but otherwise not too tired, etc.

    We mostly stay home except for groceries, Rx, and a few odd errands, but little else, and always masked — certainly no big public or indoor gatherings.

    We get the occasional take-out from select places. Now, with Omicron, we’re back to eschewing indoor dining even at those very few of our favorite restaurants that we trusted. Even then we avoided peak hours.

    Sadly, it was a short autumn ray of sun between the summer’s delta surge and omicron’s.


  22. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 4:21 pm:

    I was hesitant to sign up for Vax Verify when it first came out, since I did a permanent credit freeze on all three credit bureaus after the Equifax breach in 2017. However, I tried it today and didn’t have to unfreeze my Experian credit report. All my COVID shots and booster, plus my annual flu shots, and two tetanous shots after skin-tearing injuries, are all shown dating back to 2013. And all dates are accurate on the shots (other than one of the tetanous shots, but that was only a few days off of when it actually occurred).


  23. - In 630 - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 4:21 pm:

    Boosted right after Thanksgiving. Didn’t seem super important at the time, but figured it wouldn’t hurt. Grateful to have done it once omicron emerged. Keeping to about how I operated late spring of 20- only going indoors for necessities. Sad to see just how much damage the antis can do with just their share of the population


  24. - PublicServant - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 5:08 pm:

    Got my Pfizer booster early October. I wonder whether they’re going to recommend a booster boost soon, or introduce a more Omicron-specific shot with quick approval by the CDC. Fingers crossed. As for Tax-Verify, since I got my shots via the VA, they aren’t showing up for some reason. I’d like to confirm it’s not just something I’m doing wrong, or whether the VA shots are not included in a feed to Fax Verify.


  25. - PublicServant - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 5:09 pm:

    Heh, Tax-Verify…Oops, but maybe on on to something there, lol.


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